Monday, August 20, 2012


Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan released copies of is joint 2010 and 2011 federal income tax returns this past Friday.

Nothing particularly questionable or controversial that I could find. 

The biggest item of income in each year was wages of $153,000+ as a Congressperson (certainly more than Congresspersons are actually worth, but not very much when compared to the private sector).  There was also a nice amount of interest, dividends, royalties and capital gains from investments (much from what looked like family limited partnerships), and in 2011 substantial income from a trust resulting from the passing of his mother-in-law.  The trust income was not reported on his original return, but on an amended one – I expect due to late receipt of the K-1.  

The couple paid an effective tax rate (net federal income tax liability divided by Adjusted Gross Income) of approximately 16% for 2010 and 20% for 2011, and was a victim of the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) in both years.

In 2010 he paid payroll taxes on a household employee, but not in 2011.   

In 2010 he deducted mortgage interest, but did not deduct any real estate tax – although there would have been no additional tax benefit to such a deduction due to the dreaded AMT.  He did deduct real estate tax on his 2011 Schedule A.

They were not particularly charitable in 2010, donating only 1.2% of his AGI.  He was more so in 2011, donating 4%.

They claimed a residential energy Credit for insulation for 2010.

And their tax preparer for 2009 and 2010, a CPA for 2010 (and a different one for 2011) was not cheap.

Again – nothing questionable or controversial that I could find. 

The released returns did show that the couple is not particularly wealthy, with the least income of the 4 candidates – although BO would certainly consider them wealthy in 2011 since the trust pushed their gross income over the magic $250,000 mark.

So much for Ryan’s tax returns.  Let's see what the political pundents make of them.


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